ApplicationNo. 606184 filed on 08/20/1975
US Classes:220/668, Skeleton framework220/345.5, Plural reciprocating closures312/139.2, Rectilinear movement312/265.6, Removable panel312/290Top and vertical side
ExaminersPrimary: Lowrance, George E.
Assistant: Shoap, Allan N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
DescriptionBACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is in the general field of cabinet structures or storage containers. Storage lockers or enclosures are customarily made of metal or wood or a combination of the two and are suitable for storing such items as trash cans,fire logs, garden tools, lawn chairs, paint cans, swimming pool filter systems, and other equipment and tools. The most common lockers or containers are box-like in shape, have a hinged top lid or roof which can be raised and lowered and a pair ofhinged double-front doors. Such containers require a substantial amount of hardware such as hinges, handles, keepers, fasteners and the like.
It is therefore a primary object of the instant invention to provide a storage locker which eliminates the need for hardware.
Another object of the invention is to provide a storage locker or container suitable for a multiple or variety of uses, both indoors and outdoors.
A further object of the invention is to provide a storage locker which has clean lines of construction, is durable, attractive and economical.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from a consideration of the description and drawings hereinafter.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The instant invention comprises a rectangular box-like frame, preferably of extruded aluminum, a plurality of panels, preferably of steel, affixed thereto, a top lid and a front door similarly constructed, i.e., a metal frame with metal panelsaffixed thereto, and rigid plastic runners snapped in place on the lid and door for providing slidable movement of the lid and door on their respective adjacent frame members. The invention eliminates the necessity for hardware such as hinges, handles,keepers, fasteners and the like.
The invention provides a multi-use indoor/outdoor storage locker which has neat, clean lines of construction.
The construction designed to carry out the invention, together with other features thereof is more detailedly described hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the storage locker of the present invention with the top lid and front door in a partially open position;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view illustrating the base framing and corner brace angles of the storage locker of the instant invention and the assembly thereof;
FIG. 2A is an enlarged partially perspective view showing details of the assembly of a corner brace angle on the front base frame and a side base frame;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the top frame construction and assembly;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 6--6 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, the storage locker or container is indicated generally at 10. The locker 10, comprises a base frame 11, a top frame 12, a pair of upright wall jambs 13 and 14 (See FIGS. 2 and 3), aplurality of wall panels 15, a sliding lid 16 and a sliding front door 17. A plywood floor (not shown) may be installed in the base framing, if desired. The locker is so constructed that the top lid 16 and front door 17 may be completely slidablyremoved or installed. Plywood sheeting may be substituted for the lid, thus converting the locker to a table.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the base frame 11 comprises a front base frame member 21, a rear base frame member 22 and a pair of side base frame members 23 and 24, rectangularly joined together by four base frame screws 25 or other suitable fasteners. Each of the side base framing members 23 and 24 has a frame screw receiving channel or groove 23a and 24a, respectively, which extend longitudinally the length thereof. Openings 21a and 22a are provided on each end of the framing members 21 and 22,respectively, for receiving the screws 25. Preferably, four corner brace angles 26 are installed over the four corners of the base framing 11 for additional strength and rigidity. When plywood flooring is used, the corner brace angles are notinstalled. The flooring is installed on the base frame 11 and screwed thereto upon subsequent panel screw installation, which is explained hereinafter.
The corner brace angles 26 have a plurality of holes 26a therein for receiving panel screws 27. Eight panel screws 27, one on each side of each corner brace angle, are employed to secure the corner brace angle over the four corners of the baseframing 11.
The corner brace angles are preferably of aluminum, but may be constructed from steel or other suitable materials. They are merely included to provide additional strength and rigidity to the locker and may be completely omitted if desired.
Each of the upright wall jambs 13 and 14 have a frame screw channel or groove 13a and 14, respectively, extending longitudinally the length thereof. The jambs 13 and 14 are vertically or perpendicularly fastened to the front base frame member 21by jamb frame screws 28. Suitable holes or openings 21b are formed in the member 21 for receiving the screws 28.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the top frame 12 comprises front top frame member 31, rear top frame member 32, and a pair of side top frame members 33 and 34, rectangularly joined together by four top frame screws 35 or other suitable fasteners. Eachof the side top framing members 33 and 34 has a frame screw receiving channel or groove 33a and 34a, respectively, which extends the length thereof. Openings 31a (not seen) and 32a are provided on each end of framing members 31 and 32, respectively, forreceiving the screws 35.
A plurality of wall panels 15 are inserted in channels in the base frame 21 and attached thereto by panel screws or other suitable fasteners. The embodiment shown in FIG. 3 comprises a pair of short corner panels 15a and 15b installed in eachfront corner, a pair of full wall panels 15c and 15d on each side, a pair of long corner panels 15e and 15f installed in each rear corner and another full wall panel 15g in the rear between panels 15e and 15f. Suitable openings for receiving the panelscrews are provided in each end of the various panels. The longitudinal edges of adjacent panels are assembled in an overlapping arrangement.
The top frame 12 is positioned over the upright wall panels 15 with the panels inserted in channels in the top frame. The frame 12 is attached to the panels 15 by means of the panel screws and by frame screws 36 inserted in openings in the fronttop frame member and into the screw channels 13a and 14a of the wall jambs 13 and 14, respectively.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the sliding lid assembly or top lid 16, comprises lid side rails 16a and 16b, lid end rails 16c and 16d, wide lid panel 16e and narrow lid panel 16f. The lid panels are arranged so that a longitudinal edge of oneoverlaps the adjacent longitudinal edge of the other and the side and end rails are rectangularly assembled therearound. Openings are provided in each end of the side rails for receiving frame screws. Frame screw channels are provided in each end railwhich extend longitudinally the length thereof. Additionally, the lid 16 includes a pair of plastic guide or sash runners 16g and 16h on the side rail 16a and a similar pair of plastic guide runners 16i and 16j on side rail 16b. The runners 16g and 16iextend the lengths of lid frame members 16a and 16b, respectively, to which they are attached. The runners 16h and 16j are somewhat shorter in length than the runners 16g and 161. The shorter runners are attached to the members 16a and 16b in anintermediate position thereon so as to fit between the end rails 16c and 16d when the lid 16 is completely assembled. The lid 16 is slidably mounted on the top frame 12 and suitable grooves or channels are constructed in each so as to accomplish thispurpose. The plastic guide runners provide a bearing surface for sliding movement of the lid, with a minimum of friction.
The sliding front door or door assembly comprises a bottom door frame 17a, a top door frame 17b, a pair of door end rails 17c and 17d, and door panels 17e and 17f. The door panels are arranged so that a longitudinal edge of one overlaps theadjacent longitudinal edge of the other and the bottom frame, top frame and end rails are rectangularly assembled therearound. Openings are provided in each end of the top and bottom door frames for receiving frame screws. Frame screw channels areprovided in each door end rail which extend longitudinally the length thereof. The door 17 also includes a pair of plastic guide runners 17g and 17h mounted on the frames 17a and 17b, respectively. The runners 17g and 17h extend the lengths of theirrespective frame members or frames 17a and 17b. Snap-on plastic door seals or covers are installed on each door end rail 17c and 17d, respectively. The door seals provide a finished touch to the front door and cover any exposed open areas on the endrails. The door 17 is slidably mounted on the front base frame member 21 and front top frame member 31. Suitable channels are constructed in each frame member so as to effect the slidable mounting. The plastic guide runners provide a bearing surfacefor slidable movement of the door, with a minimum of friction.
All of the framing members, i.e., front and rear base frame members, side base frame members, front and rear top frame members, side top frame members, wall jambs, top lid front and back rails, top lid end rails, top and bottom door frames anddoor end rails are all preferably extruded aluminum shapes. All of the panels, i.e., wall panels, lid panels and door panels are preferably rolled coated steel paneling. It can be appreciated that other materials may also be suitable, such as e.g.,aluminum, plastic or wood panels and plastic or steel framing members.
The plastic guides or runners installed on the lid and door, may be made from any suitable plastic such as nylon, vinyl and the like. Other materials may be used, the only criteria being that the installed runners permit door and lid panels toglide smoothly in open and closing sliding movements.
Frame screws and panel screws are preferably self tapping, with the former being somewhat larger than the latter. Washers are preferably used with the panel screws, but are not recommended for use with the frame screws. Screw end covers madefrom short sections of plastic or rubber tubing, preferably vinyl are installed over exposed screw ends as an added safety feature.
The details of construction of the front base frame member 21 with bottom door frame 17a slidably engaged thereon are best seen in FIG. 4. The member 21 is a one-piece aluminum extrusion or extruded aluminum shape. As seen in cross-section, theshape 21 is formed so that it has a central angle member 41 of unequal legs 41a and 41b. A hook or U-shaped member 42 of unequal length legs 42a and 42b extends from one end of the leg 41a. The legs 42a and 42b are joined together by a web 42c. Thelegs 41a and 42b are vertically aligned. A smaller angle member 43 having unequal legs 43a and 43b extends perpendicularly from the end of the leg 41b. The legs 42c and 43b are spaced apart and in horizontal alignment. These legs form the base or feeton which the storage locker rests when assembled. The legs 42b and 43a are spaced apart and in parallel alignment.
A larger hook or U-shaped member 44 having unequal legs 44a and 44b joined together by web 44c extends from the end of leg 41b opposite short leg 43a and in vertical alignment with leg 43a. Long leg 44a is spaced apart from long leg 41a and isparallel thereto. The legs 41a and 44a form a channel 21d for receiving panels 15. Openings 21c are spaced apart and appropriately located on long leg 41a so as to match screw openings in the panels 15 and receive panel screws 27. Jamb screw openings21b are also appropriately located in the leg 41b for receiving jamb screws 28.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the rear base frame member 22 is also a one-piece extruded aluminum shape. The portion thereof facing the interior of the storage locker is constructed similar to that part of the member 21 which also faces the interiorof the locker. Since no door is installed on the member 22, the exterior portion thereof is more simply constructed than the exterior portion of the member 21. In cross-section, the shape 22 has a central angle member 22b similar to the member 41 and aU-shaped or hook member 22c similar to the member 42. A flange 22d extends perpendicularly from the end of the short leg 22e of angle member 22. The flange 22d, long leg 22f and short leg 22e form a channel for receiving panel members 15. Openings orholes 22g are appropriately located in the member 22f for receiving panel screws for attaching the panels to the frame member 22.
The side base frame members 23 and 24 are substantially identical and are extruded aluminum shapes. In cross-section, member 24 comprises a main or vertical member 24b having a U-shaped channel member 24c formed therein and with each leg thereofextending perpendicularly inward. The frame screw channel 24a is formed on the end or base of the U-shaped channel member 24c. Preferably, the interior of the member 24c is serrated or has a plurality of longitudinally extending grooves on the legsthereof. A short flange 24d extends perpendicularly and inwardly from the upper end of the member 24b. A long flange 24e extends perpendicularly and outwardly from the lower end of the member 24b. An obtuse angle member 24f extends perpendicularly andupwardly from the outer end of the flange 24e. A vertical leg member 24g extends perpendicularly and downwardly from the flange 24e and provides a base for the frame member 24. The angle member 24f, flange 24e and main member 24b form a channel forreceiving wall panels 15. A short flange 24h also extends inwardly from the lower end of the main member 24b opposite of long flange 24e. Suitable holes are appropriately located in the member 24b for alignment with holes in the panels for receivingpanel screws for attachment of the panels to the member 24.
The front top frame member 31 is constructed similarly to the front base frame member 21. The member 31 is installed opposite the member 21 so that the panel receiving channel thereof is opposite of and in alignment with the panel receivingchannel 21c of member 21. A cross-section of the member 31 may be seen in FIG. 5.
The rear top frame member 32 is constructed similarly to the top and bottom front frame members 31 and 21. Since more wall panels 15 are attached to the rear of the locker than the front, additional panel screw receiving holes 32b areappropriately spaced in the member 32.
Top side frame members 33 and 34 are constructed similarly to side base frame members 23 and 24. The members 33 and 34 are positioned so that their panel receiving channels are opposite and in alignment therewith, respectively, the panelreceiving channels in the members 23 and 24.
The bottom door frame 17a is a one-piece extruded aluminum shape. A cross-section thereof is best seen in FIG. 4. The shape 17a is formed so that it has a central angle member 45 having unequal legs 45a and 45b. A hook or U-shaped member 46having unequal legs 46a and 46b joined together by web 46c extends from one end of the long leg 45a. The legs 45a and 46b are in alignment with each other. A flange 47 extends at a right angle from the end of the leg 45b and is parallel to and spacedapart from the long leg 45a. Flange 47, leg 45b and leg 45a form a channel 48 for receiving door panels 17e and 17f. Long leg 45a has panel receiving openings or holes spaced apart and suitably located therein for receiving panel screws for attachmentof the door panels to the frame member 17a.
A short flange 49 is attached at a right angle to leg 45b and opposite of and this in alignment with flange 47. Holes or openings are located in each end of the leg 45b for receiving frame screws 17k which join the frame 17a with end rails 17cand 17d, respectively.
Plastic guide runner 17g is attached to hook member 46 on the leg 46a thereof. Preferably, the leg 46a has a notch on each side thereof. The plastic guide runner preferably has a projection on each end thereof for mating with the notches on theleg 46a. The notched construction of the leg 46a is substantially identical to that of leg 52a of U-shaped member 52 seen in FIG. 5.
The top door frame 17b is constructed similarly to the bottom door frame 17a. It is installed over the door panels 17e and 17f so that the panel receiving channel of frame 17b is opposite of and in alignment with panel receiving channel 48 offrame 17a. A cross-section of the frame or member 17b is seen in FIG. 5.
The door end rails 17c and 17d are extruded aluminum shapes and are substantially identical in cross-section with wall jambs 13 and 14 and top lid end rails 16c and 16d. Rail 16c is described in detail hereinafter. The lengths of the variousshapes varies with the particular dimensions of the locker 10.
A cross-section of the top lid front side rail 16a is shown in FIG. 5. It is also a one-piece extruded aluminum shape. In cross-section, the lid rail 16a is substantially identical to rear base frame member 22, bottom door frame 17a and topdoor frame 17b. The shape 16a includes a central angle member 55 having unequal legs 55a and 55b. A hook or U-shaped member 56 having unequal legs 56a and 56b joined together by web 56c extends from one end of long leg 55a. The legs 55a and 56b are inalignment with each other. A flange 57 extends at a right angle from the end of short leg 55b and in parallel to and spaced apart from long leg 55a. Flange 57, short leg 55b and long leg 55a form a channel 58 for receiving lid panels 16e and 16f. Longleg 55a has panel receiving openings or holes spaced apart and suitably located therein for receiving panel screws for attachment of the panels to the frame member 16a.
A short flange 59 extends at a right angle from leg 55b and opposite of and in alignment with flange 57. Holes or openings are located in each end of the leg 55b for receiving frame screws 17k which join the rail 16a with end rails 17c and 17d,respectively.
Plastic guide runner 16g is attached to hook member 56 on the leg 56a thereof. The leg 56a has a notch on each side thereof for receiving projections on the runner 16g. The plastic guide runner 16g is snapped on the member 56 and is lockedlyengaged thereon. The notched construction of the leg 56a is substantially identical to that of leg 52a of U-shaped member 52. The lid 16a has another plastic guide runner 16h positioned on the end of the long leg 55a of central angle member 55. Theend of leg 55a on which the runner 16h is locked thereon is notchedly constructed similar to the leg 52a.
The top lid back or rear side rail 16b is constructed substantially identical to the rail 16a and plastic guide runners 16i and 16j are similarly positioned thereon.
Top lid end rail 16c is viewed in cross-section in FIG. 6. The rail 16c is an extruded aluminum shape and has a central member or web 61 with a longitudinally extending frame screw receiving channel 62 formed thereon. Flanges 63 and 64 extendperpendicularly from each end of the web 61 and are parallel to and spaced apart from each other. A lid panel receiving channel 65 is formed by end portion 63a of flange 63, web 61 and end portion 64a of flange 64. Shape 16d is substantially identicalto shape 16c.
As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, the plastic guide runners provide a plastic to metal contact for all sliding movement of both lid and door. All metal to metal contact on bearing surfaces is eliminated. Such construction provides for a minimum offriction as lid and/or door are slidably moved.
Assembly of the various component parts of the storage locker is carried out in the following preferable manner. Front, rear and side base frame members are attached at their respective corners using four frame screws. If a plywood flooring isto be used, it is installed at this point and corner brace angles are not used. Subsequent panel screw installation will secure the floor. Should flooring not be available at this time, it can be laid into position loosely after assembly is complete. If flooring is not employed at this time, corner brace angles are installed over the four corners of the base framing. This is accomplished using eight panel screws, two to each angle using appropriate holes therefor.
Next, the two upright wall jambs, which are longer than the similarly shaped door end rails, are positioned over the screw holes in the recess or channel of the front base frame, with the open legs thereof facing the corners of the locker. Eachjamb is secured in place with a frame screw.
Wall panels are then positioned. Beginning at the right front of the locker, a short corner panel is positioned in the channel therefor of the right upright wall jamb and down into the wall receiving channel of the front and side base framemembers. A full wall panel is then positioned beside the corner panel, overlapping the adjacent edges of the panels. Panel screws are installed where appropriate in the holes provided therefor. Preferably, the panel screws at sides of locker are nottightened until all panels are positioned and screwed. Thereafter a long corner panel is positioned beside the full wall panel in the channels therefor in the side and rear base frame members. Additional panels are positioned consecutively withoverlapping edges ending up with a short corner panel at the left front of the locker with its edge inserted into the receiving channel of the left upright wall jamb. Panel screws are installed thru the bottom panels and into the base frames in theholes provided therefor.
The front, rear and side top frame members are assembled at the corners thereof with four frame screws. The top frame is then positioned over the top edges of the wall panels. Panel screws are applied thru the tops of the panels and into thetop frame members using the appropriate holes therefor. Preferably, the rear of the locker is secured first, then the front and finally the sides. The top of the locker is completed by installing two frame screws down thru the front top frame memberand into each of the upright wall jambs.
The sliding lid is assembled next. Short and wide lid panels are positioned so that one panel rib overlaps the adjacent rib on the other panel. The ends of the panel are inserted into the open legs or panel receiving channels of the lid endrails. Appropriate runners of the lid front and back side rails are positioned over the outer ends of the lid end rails and the lid panels with the hooks or of the side rails being down. The lid framing is secured by installing four frame screws, onein each corner thereof. Plastic guide runners are then installed on the lid side rails. Two longer runners are applied to the hooks of the side rails and two shorter runners are applied to the long legs of the side rails. No screws are installed inthe lid panels.
Plastic door seals are slidably engaged on each of the two door end rails. Door panels are positioned so that only the leading edges thereof overlap. Top and bottom ends of the door panels are positioned into the top and bottom door frames, inrespective channels therefor, being sure that the hooks are positioned down. Door end rails are applied over the sides of the door panels and into the top and bottom door frames. The door framing is secured by installing four frame screws, one in eachcorner of the frame. No screws are installed into the door panels. The door seals are installed so that the wide part of the seal faces down during assembly. Plastic guide runners are applied to the hook edges of the top and bottom door frame members.
Then, preferably, a length of tubular vinyl material of appropriate size is positioned over each exposed screw end and then cut off, thus protectively covering all screw ends.
Finally, the sliding door is engaged with its mating rails at the front (top and bottom) of the locker. Similarly, the sliding lid is engaged with its mating rails at both sides of the top of the locker. Any raw edges on metal framing should besmoothed by filling or the like to prevent damage to the plastic guide runners.
Wall panels, door panels and lid panels are preferably constructed from rolls of sheet steel or aluminum. As illustrated, the panels are of a corrugated design to provide strength and stability. The lengths of panels, number of panels and typesof panels are dictated largely by the desired dimensions of the locker and the end use thereof. Preferably, the panels are also painted or otherwise coated with a protective and/or decorative finish.
The present invention provides for a storage locker having a wide variety of uses and which is attractive as well as useful. The sliding top lid and sliding front door provide ready access to the top and the front of the locker. The lid anddoor may be readily and easily quickly opened and/or completely removed. Closing and installation are as easily accomplished.
The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention is illustrative and explanatory thereof and various changes in the size, shape and materials, as well as in the details of the illustrated construction, may be made within the scope of theappended claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.